22 Apr


Conservative leaders voice support for preservation and conservation of largest federal forest

Alexandria, VA– As countries around the globe celebrate the 50th year of recognizing the importance of our natural world, conservative leaders in America are reminding the public of the necessity of maintaining the Roadless Rule protections for the Alaska Tongass National Forest, to ensure environmental consciousness on behalf of the United States’ largest federally protected forest.

Citizens for the Republic, the grassroots organization founded by Ronald Reagan which promotes the principles of maximum freedom, continues their campaign on this 50th anniversary to rally conservative support across the country to maintain the Roadless Rule protections in the Tongass, in response to a proposal by the U.S. Forest Service to fully exempt the Tongass National Forest from the protections, opening up nearly 10 million acres of verdant forests to clearcutting and logging from government subsidized logging companies.

An issue that has previously divided the GOP, a statewide poll conducted in Alaska by conservative polling firm Baselice & Associates displays the support from self-identified Republican hunters and fishers to maintain the Roadless Rule.

The results of the poll found that a plurality (49%) of Alaskans oppose exempting the entire Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the protections of the Roadless Rule, which would allow more commercial logging and construction of new logging roads in these Roadless areas.

The poll found that an overwhelming 74% of those surveyed agreed with the following statement: “Our national forests belong to all of us, not large corporations and their lobbyists. We need to protect the Tongass National Forest to ensure that future generations can enjoy the freedom and peacefulness they provide, not sell them off for profit.”

Of those polled, 31% were registered as Republican, 15% registered as Democrat, 23% as Undeclared, and 16% as Independent.

Prominent conservative leaders have voiced their concern for such intrusive and destruction of the Tongass, including:

Ron Maxwell, famous historical film director and conservative conservationist, who expressed his concern for maintaining the Roadless Rule in an op-ed in The Washington Examiner,Keeping America great: preservation and conservation are the roots of American democracy,” wherein he states, “steeped in the history of our nation, the formation of the Tongass National Forest and the millions of acres of preserved land must be protected at all costs, to maintain our American identity and to honor those who fought for its preservation in years prior, while providing a natural retreat for millions of Americans in the years to come.”

Pete Sepp, president of National Taxpayers Union, emphasized the economic gains of maintaining the Roadless Rule protections in an op-ed inTownhall, entitled “The Economic Futility of Allowing Logging in the Tongass,” writing, “the benefits of maintaining an ecosystem that’s profitable for several economic sectors outweigh the costs of expanding a proven government money-loser targeted at one sector.”

Craig Shirley, New York Times bestselling Ronald Reagan biographer, and well established conservative figure, also discussed the necessity for protecting the Tongass in an op-ed in The Washington Times, and how Ronald Reagan, perhaps one of the most revered presidents of our nation, “who owned and loved his 600-acre ranch in California, did not like waste. And while he is no longer with us, we know from his history of protecting the environment, he would have urged caution, before decisions are made which could adversely affect the Tongass National Forest forever.”

Landon Parvin, former Ronald Reagan speechwriter, as well as Frank Donatelli, former political and intergovernmental affairs assistant to Ronald Reagan, and David Jenkins, president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, have all voiced their support for Citizens for the Republic’s campaign to protect the Roadless Rule protections of the Tongass, as a means of preserving American heritage, and ensuring future economic prosperity.

Hundreds of concerned individualsincluding conservative leaders such as those above, as well as active hunters and fishers from Alaska and around the country, have signed an online petition voicing their support for maintaining the protections of the Roadless Rule.

To schedule an interview with a spokesperson for the campaign please contact Francesca Goerg at fgoerg@sbpublicaffairs.com, or call 703.739.5920



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